CHN just released another edition of the Human Needs Report. Read on for a comprehensive look at the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which cleared the Senate on August 7.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will keep health care costs down for millions of Americans, and will make historic progress in protecting us from the ravages of climate change. It will have immediate benefits, and it invests in our future. The Coalition on Human Needs congratulates the Senate leadership for shepherding the bill to its passage in the Senate and celebrates all senators who voted for this important legislation. We look forward to its enactment in the House, and to President Biden’s signing the Inflation Reduction Act into law.
The Coalition on Human Needs supports enactment of The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, H.R. 5376. This bill will prevent millions of people from seeing their health insurance premiums rise or become uninsured. It will take important steps towards combating climate change and helping people to shift to cheaper, environmentally sound energy sources. It will reduce the cost of prescription drugs. And it will make a start towards requiring multi-billion-dollar corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes.
The reconciliation edition. The Senate is finally poised to enact legislation to address some urgent problems. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is estimated to reduce disastrous carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and its support for the transition to renewable energy sources will save the average family $500/year. The bill will prevent millions of people from drastic increases in their health insurance and will stop 3 million from becoming uninsured. At long last, Medicare will be able to negotiate to lower drug prices, and Medicare recipients’ drug costs will be capped, with prescription and health insurance savings expected well beyond Medicare.
This week, the Coalition on Human Needs unveiled its 2022 Reconciliation Resource Library. This resource will offer one-stop shopping for those wanting to learn more about the Inflation Reduction act of 2020, what it will do, and why it should pass. CHN is posting to the site statements from its member groups and allied groups, as well as analysis of the Act by leaders in Congress, other government entities and a range of experts.
With the clock ticking toward Congress’ annual August recess, faith leaders convened on Capitol Hill this week to urge Congress to close the Medicaid coverage gap as part of reconciliation legislation. Leaders also called for advancing racial equity, addressing climate change, higher taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals, and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. But with reports surfacing that the legislation pending in the Senate would not include a provision to help more than two million low-income Americans in 12 states, mostly people of color, access health care, pressure mounted on Senate Democrats to close the coverage gap in states that opted not to do so as part of the Affordable Care Act.
The pandemic fatigue edition. Daily COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are once again on the rise. Daily cases have more than quadrupled since March and hospitalizations have doubled since May. But new polling suggests Americans have moved on – and are less willing than they have ever been to take steps to avoid contracting the virus. One poll finds that fewer than half of Americans are willing to undertake mitigation efforts. Only 36 percent of respondents said they wear a mask when outside their home – the lowest percentage since the pandemic began. And the same number of respondents said they never wear a mask when outside their home, a 14 percent increase since the same time last year.
Affordable child care, tax credits for families with children, and offering nutritious meals, particularly to children in families with low incomes, are the three vehicles best suited for driving families, young children, and the nation’s economy down a pathway to success. That’s the testimony offered this week by two academicians and one child advocate who appeared before the House Budget Committee.
While Tax Day has passed, families can still claim the expanded 2021 Child Tax Credit (CTC). A new portal, GetCTC.org, relaunched in May, making it easier for families to do so. Many of the children most at risk of missing out on the CTC are in summer meals programs. Organizations running these programs can steer families to the new portal to help them claim the credit.
Much of my adult life has been spent homeless or incarcerated. Now I help homeless people and returning citizens. I’ve lived on the streets, been in Hollywood films, owned my own footwear service, rubbed elbows with a Saudi Prince, and even sung for Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago — while in and out of homelessness. I’ve also been to federal prison and battled substance abuse. We all make our own choices. But I’ve learned that our social and political systems often make choices for us, too. And those are the choices we can change together.
The reinfections edition. It has been said that although weary Americans may be done with the pandemic, the pandemic is not done with us. Unfortunately, this truism surfaced again within the past few weeks. The latest bad news is delivered by Omicron subvariant BA.5, which is taking the nation by storm – and which, in terms of infectiousness, is worse than all of its predecessors. “The Omicron subvariant BA.5 is the worst version of the virus that we’ve seen,” writes Eric Topol, a Professor of Molecular Biology at Scripps Research.
President Biden this week awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor — to longtime CHN Board Member Sister Simone Campbell. Sr. Simone led NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, a CHN member group, from 2004 to 2021. She announced her retirement last year, and stepped down from her service on CHN’s Board of Directors. In 2013, CHN honored NETWORK with its annual Human Needs Hero award for its advocacy on behalf of immigrants.